John Singer Sargent (1856–1925)

Dennis Miller Bunker Painting at Calcot, 1888

Oil on canvas mounted on Masonite, 27 x 25 1/4 in. (68.6 x 64.1 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.130

A widely traveled and cosmopolitan American expatriate artist, John Singer Sargent lived and worked in Paris for twelve years before moving permanently to London in 1886. He made notable and extended visits to the United States, and was one of the country’s most popular painters during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Dennis Miller Bunker Painting at Calcot depicts Sargent’s close friend and fellow artist at work in the countryside. Bunker’s portable canvas is positioned low, on the bank of a stream, where Sargent’s younger sister Violet is absorbed in reading. Like other progressive American artists influenced by the French impressionist Claude Monet (1840–1926), Sargent and Bunker experimented with painting outdoors, working directly on the canvas to capture transient effects of natural light and color. The dense vegetation of the riverbank proved to be an ideal vehicle for the broken brushwork and dappled light evident here.

Learn more about this painting on the Terra Foundation website.